Anyone who knows me probably knows I don’t place a lot of value on things. I’m not one to try to keep up with the Joneses or wear the latest fads. I think I’d live about the same lifestyle if I ever won the lottery – with the exception of maybe attending a few more sporting events. I want my car to have 4 wheels and run and get me and the family from Point A to Point B.
As my kids have gotten older, I got a little sad at times that I didn’t keep more things from my childhood. The old Nintendo and Sega Genesis are long gone (I guess I sold them to buy baseball cards years ago?) I think I’ve got my old Cub Scout uniform somewhere and a few trophies from youth sports but that’s about it. There’s no favorite teddy bear or stuffed animal – even my baseball card collection (that was massive) was liberated during my Mom’s move out of my childhood home.
But tonight..oh tonight..
During bedtime, my son brought me a book to read. It was “Oh, the Places You Go” by Dr. Seuss. Every time I see this book, I now immediately who gave it to me. Allison Phelps – right before high school graduation in 1998. You will know I’m going senile if I ever forget this fact. I’m sure I read it years ago (I had to, right?) but it seemed brand new. The edges are a bit ruffled from being moved no less than 7 times.
In reading it to them for bed and seeing her handwriting, it was almost an out-of-body experience. Just amazing how life works out. They didn’t get all the words and understated messages that the GENIUS of Dr. Seuss was laying out. But it was a beautiful look at where my life has taken me in the 23 years since high school and what their next 23 years may look like when they leave home (hopefully) and spread their wings. E would be 30 and L 28. Those ages seem almost…comical. I can’t imagine them as adults.
But they will be…and hopefully, they will have something from this childhood that I hope they remember as being at least decent to hold on to. And it may not be a thing….but hopefully it’s something.
PS. Of course, my “thing” isn’t something you can hold onto and snuggle at night and feel cozy in. But it’s a thing that means more than me than something tangible.
To thine own self be true.